Product Type: Panasonic digital camcorders
Newest Review: ... the camcorder looks small and stylish and is very easy to use. The video quality is absolutely outstanding for a handheld camcorder... more
Member Name: devongirlie
Advantages: Very quick to turn on. Tells you when you go wrong.
Disadvantages: Occassionally films your crotch.
I have to say that at first I was sceptical. It doesn't have an internal hard drive memory but relies solely on an SD memory card. Oh no, I thought, what if I run out of memory. I had previously managed to get a whole years worth of filming on the hard disc of the old one. So I bought two 16GB memory cards. Well I have just come back from two weeks in Florida and used one and half memory cards. So I guess I can live with that. The benefits to no internal memory far outweigh the inconvenience. These being...
- it is soooo much lighter than my old camera. Carrying it around Disneyworld I barely knew I had it!
- it is soooo much slimmer than my old camera. It fits in the palm of your hand very comfortably and is easy to fit in a handbag or a deep pocket.
The Panasonic HDC-SD60 comes in two colours, black and silver. It has a battery on the back which can be removed, but it isn't necessary to do so in order to charge it. The battery takes about 2 hours to fully charge and lasts for about 1 hour 30 mins. This was more than enough to see me through a day in the Disney parks, it didn't go flat once.
There is a handstrap on the right of the camera which is fully adjustable. The screen pulls out on the left side. There is an on/off button on the body of the camera which is accessed when the screen is out but the camera also turns itself on when you open the screen and off when you close the screen, nine times out of ten. If there is a flaw with this machine it is that occassionally when you close the screen and think it is off, it is still recording and you find you have several minutes (or more) of the inside of your husbands crotch or his feet pounding the pavements. It doesn't make for good viewing when editing your movies. When it does shut itself off it also closes the shutter over the lense. If you leave it on while the screen it open it will turn itself off too. The amazing thing about this camera, the thing that sold it to me, is the speed at which it turns itself on. It takes no more than 1 second between opening the screen and being ready to film. It is truly astounding.
The screen on the camera is touch sensitive. Once you have pushed the menu button at the base of the screen all the menu functions are then accessed via the touch screen. From here you can adjust and fiddle with the Record Setup, Picture and Setup facilities. One of which holds the display settings. I find it easier to film with the display off as when it is on there is so much information on the screen you can barely see what you are filming. This does, however, turn the battery display off which is slightly annoying as you can't tell how long your battery has left before it expires.
A particularly nifty function, one I am really impressed with, it the dual options for the most important part of any camera - stopping and starting the recording and zooming in and out. To start and stop recording you can either push the button to the right of the battery or push the button in the bottom left hand corner of the screen. This allows you to choose whether to use your right or left hand as you hold the camera. The same is true of the zoom. There is the usual rocker button at the top of the camera and also buttons at the base of the screen. This is so clever!
The other buttons on the screen are the light for use in darkened conditions and the button for erasing clips. The light, I have to say, is fairly ineffectual. It's good for light people who are about 1-2 metres away from you, and after that it might just as well not be on.
Features of the HDC-SD60:
It is a full HD camera
It has a 25x optical zoom and 35x digital zoom
It has a 35.4mm wide lens.It has O.I.S. (which I assume is some anti-shake thing)
It can be switched from Auto to Manual.
It has a 5.0 Megapixel camera for recording still images.
It has a face recognition programme (but I don't know how to work that yet)
That's about as technical as I get - sorry.
How does it work?
Great. The picture quality is superb. It has a very sharp image. It is quick to focus and holds it's focus very well as you zoom in and out, so long as you don't do it too fast. The sound quality on the recording is also great. No irritating background fuzzy noise. It plays back well too, when you want to look at what you have recorded.
Now here's the really clever bit - it tells you when you are going wrong!!! If you are moving the camera too fast up comes a message on the screen to tell you! How cool is that? With a camera like this even monkeys could make good films... well maybe not, but it is a pretty impressive piece of machinery for the price and I can completely recommend it.
Summary: The best video camera I've used (and I've been through a few)
|Ease of use:|
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